Positive/Solution-Focused Therapy: Empowering Clients to Change

Positive/Solution-Focused Therapy (PSFT) is a client-centered approach to psychotherapy emphasizing collaboration and client empowerment. It focuses on identifying and strengthening existing strengths and resources to achieve positive change. Unlike traditional approaches that dwell on past experiences and diagnoses, PSFT concentrates on future possibilities and solutions.

Core Beliefs of PSFT:

  • Clients are experts in their own lives and have the inherent potential for growth and change.
  • Focusing on solutions is more productive than dwelling on problems.
  • Clients can achieve lasting change by identifying and using their existing strengths and resources.
  • The relationship between client and therapist is a partnership built on mutual respect and trust.

Therapeutic Process:

The therapist’s role in PSFT is to act as a guide and facilitator, supporting the client in:

  • Identifying specific goals and desired changes.
  • Discovering and maximizing their strengths and resources.
  • Developing and practicing new solutions.
  • Reflecting on progress and setbacks.

Common Strategies:

  • Exception Management: Identifying and celebrating instances where the client has overcome challenges.
  • Future Planning: Creating a detailed plan for achieving desired outcomes.
  • Scaling & Metaphors: Identifying positive changes and strengthening their significance.
  • Outcome Management: Regularly assessing progress and making necessary adjustments.

Benefits of PSFT:

  • Increased client engagement and motivation.
  • Faster recovery and symptom reduction.
  • Improved client self-efficacy and empowerment.
  • Increased client ownership of their treatment and progress.
  • Focus on building future-oriented solutions and capabilities.

Common Applications:

PSFT can be used to treat various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and substance abuse.


1. How is PSFT different from traditional therapy?

PSFT emphasizes solutions and client empowerment, while traditional therapy often focuses on diagnosing and treating symptoms.

2. What happens in a PSFT session?

The client and therapist work collaboratively to identify strengths, resources, and solutions.

3. How long does PSFT typically last?

The length of treatment depends on the client’s needs and goals.

4 Künzel & Associates provides solution-focused therapy services. Contact us to learn more and schedule a consultation.


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